When you own rental properties, evictions are an unfortunate reality that no one wants to deal with. Creating some safeguards at the outset will save you the trouble of having to file an eviction notice down the road. These are the five key ways that you can minimize the potential for having to evict someone. As you gain experience, you’ll probably incorporate some additional best practices of your own that work for you and your properties.
Do a background check on every single application that you consider. That should include their credit history, rental history, and any criminal convictions. I also recommend calling the last place where they resided, as a recent eviction might not be on the applicant’s credit report. Be sure to charge an application fee. This will help you save both money and time, as charging an application fee will also weed out anyone who’s not serious about renting.
Maintaining your property’s appearance is important for aesthetics, but it can actually help minimizing evictions too. Nice looking properties are more likely to attract tenants who are solvent, reliable, and excited about renting in your building. In order to attract the ideal tenant, your property should be a place where they’re enthusiastic about renting. Be sure to make updates when necessary and fix any issues in a timely fashion. If you take pride in the properties that you own, so will your tenants.
Be a Good Landlord
This may seem obvious, but being a good landlord will increase the likelihood that you’ll have good tenants. If your tenants like where they live and have a positive relationship with you, they will rent from you for years. Some ways to ensure tenant satisfaction are to respond to their calls as quickly as possible, complete any necessary repairs promptly, and by being lenient when they may be a little late with their rent late if it’s not a common occurrence. The opposite is also true. If you’re a neglectful landlord, your tenant may feel justified in not paying and the law may be on their side.
When you’re drafting your lease, make sure that it states that you report payments to the credit bureaus. This can be a very positive aspect for the right tenants, who will appreciate having their good standing with you on their credit report.
The best way to keep yourself eviction-free is to have an airtight lease. If there is a
loophole in your lease, you can be sure that your tenant will find it. This is why it is so important to make sure that your lease is created by an attorney who specializes in rental properties. When meeting with a new or prospective tenant, personally go over the lease with them so you can know for sure that they understand the agreement that they are signing.
While there isn’t a foolproof formula for ensuring that you never need to evict anyone, these five safeguards have spared me countless headaches over the years. I’m confident they’ll do the same for you.